Christmas Tree Shortage Could Mean Fewer Choices, Higher Prices

Lester Mason
November 21, 2017

As the 2017 harvest season approaches, US Christmas tree producers are facing up to the fact that there will be a definite shortage of homegrown trees this year - and for a considerable period in the foreseeable future too.

Christmas carols and chainsaws are music to a tree farmer's ears.

"We can't afford to pay that price - that's what we charged our customers", Julie Vario said.

"Sadly, the trees are going to raise (in price) a little bit more because there is a high demand and low supply", Stetson said.

Real Christmas trees store carbon during their lifespan.

"We have had a couple of nice years the past couple of years", Clawson said.

"There are a lot of artificial trees which have that stark white Betula jacquemontii (silver birch) look", says David.

There's only a few days until the start of the holiday season. The nationwide shortage has him frantically looking for trees.

The social media website has found a 240 per cent year on year increase for searches on "hanging Christmas trees" and 255 per cent year on year increase for 'wall Christmas trees.' . "The problem arises that it takes at least six or seven years to grow a tree".

"It hasn't hit us yet, but we're a lot smaller than other growers", Lutz said.

Cole's tree farm started in 1965.

More like cartoon versions of the real thing than replicas of the real thing-and we mean that in the best way.

A report from the GWD Forestry predicts the shortage could last until 2025, citing droughts and wildfires in major growing states as an additional factor.

"A lot of people want something that's big, bushy and deluxe, but as a general trend, we do want them slimmer and we try to accommodate that".

He is still trying to make selecting a Christmas tree a full family experience by offering wagon rides, a campfire, free hot chocolate and having a snack shed and gift shop for people to check out during their visit. "It's not just a tree".

Penland said the shortages are felt the most in booming urban areas of SC like Greenville, Charleston or Columbia.

A GWD spokesman commented, "We have been aware of this shortage, which began in 2016, from the outset as we were already exploring other, lucrative outlets to sell GWD Forestry Christmas trees into the U.S. market".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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